These cookies are chewy, rich and have the distinct surprise of sweet and tart dried cherries. Oh, I really love dried cherries. Cherry Pie Larabars were my favourite. Now that those have been discontinued, I don’t buy Larabars. Back to the point, cherries and chocolate were meant to love each other. I find vegan drop cookies are often a little too cake-like, so my best trick is to add a bit of xanthan gum – it definitely makes up for the missing chew factor due to the lack of eggs. So, gluten-free or not, a bag of xanthan gum stored in the freezer is a great basic addition to any well-stocked vegan pantry, especially if you’re a cookie-baker like we’re trying to be here.
1 cup non-dairy margarine, softened
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon boxed egg replacer + 1/2 cup water, well mixed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour (My Gluten-Free mix; use brown rice flour)
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup dried sour cherries
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, using a hand or stand mixer, cream together the non-dairy margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg replacer and vanilla and mix. The dough will start to separate this point, but it will come together just fine in the end. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt and mix until it starts to come together. Fold in the dried cherries and chocolate chips. Drop by the tablespoonful onto prepared sheets and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool for several minutes on the sheet before transferring to a baking rack to cool completely.